Nirvana To Afghanistan
Veteran: Jason Everman
Artist: Michael Koulermos
Writer: Margaret Mandell
It was the late 80’s and the music scene was exploding in Seattle. Nirvana was still in its infancy when musician, Jason Everman, auditioned and got the gig as second guitarist. That he had $606.17 to record Nirvana’s first album didn’t hurt his chances either.
The gig was short lived. According to his band mates, he was too “introverted”.
He wasn’t exactly fired but it was understood by Everman and the other band members he wouldn’t be joining them on their next tour.
He wound up playing bass for another Seattle band, Soundgarden. Although he loved playing with them, it didn’t work out either and Everman was fired for “moodiness”.
So he put down his bass, bought a one way ticket to New York City, walked into an army recruitment office in Times Square and a few weeks later was enduring brutal, heave-inducing drills at Fort Benning in Georgia.
Gone was the nose ring and long, strawberry blond curls. In their place was a determined young man who excelled at the rigors of army life.
Quite a change from the grunge scene in Seattle. But Everman was determined not to be left behind this time. He became a member of the elite Special Forces. Deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, Everman saw and experienced all the horrors of war.
He came home with his weight in medals. But he rarely talks about those honors. It’s not his way.
In 2006, Everman left the military and was admitted to Columbia University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Today, he leads a quiet life in an A-frame cabin near the Puget Sound.
Some would say he had it all and walked away from it. Everman would disagree. The only thing he lost out on is $606.17.